I still check and compare the CDC death totals against Minnesota’s reported ones. CDC gives you the week the death actually occurred. As you look at the CDC data sheet from time to time you can compare weekly totals to see where deaths got added. Comparing the pull form yesterday, May 11, to the one I did April 26th, about two weeks ago, here is the nonsense that is still occurring. A death was added to the week of May 23, 2020. How do you a year later decide that a death was a CV-19 one? Deaths were also added in the weeks of October 17, November 7, November 21, November 28 and December 12th. It is impossible to get a straight answer from the DOH on how this occurs.
Some work from the CDC, whose reputation is in free fall after getting pummeled by the NYTimes, of all places, after giving erroneous information about outdoor transmission. The agency issued a “science” brief on cloth masks that was all just made-up, misleading nonsense. They ignored all the contrary evidence. And all the physical studies show that cloth masks in particular are worthless. (CDC Brief)
And here is the CDC attempting to catch up with year-old science in a brief on transmission. The agency acknowledging that aerosol transmission is a thing. (CDC Brief)
And finally a brief on the effectiveness of the vaccines, in particular the mRNA vaccines. (CDC Brief) Based on data from a multistate network of hospitals, the research found that vaccinated people were far less likely to be hospitalized than the unvaxed, and that even one dose provided significant protection against hospitalization for those over age 65.
One of my favorite Twitter people, the Ethical Skeptic, who is an oddball with a predilection for esoteric use of large words, has been pushing a crappy theory that the virus largely spreads in feces and manure that is aerosolized. This paper finds little evidence of viable virus in sh*t or wastewater. So much for that theory. (Medrxiv Paper)
More research on vaccines and variants. (Medrxiv Paper) The most fascinating finding indicates that the body is smarter than the brain within it. While those who were vaccinated created antibodies that were effective against variants, although not as effective against some as against the original dominant strain, antibodies from infected persons did a better job of neutralization. Apparently our immune systems know how to prepare for variants better than vaccine manufacturers do. Note that T cell responses were not studied.
What factors may enhance or hinder spread of CV-19. Tough work to do with so many variables, many of which likely interact. Here is the latest research work, from 70 cities around the globe. (Cell Paper) Population density obviously enhances transmission. Lower transmission is associated with lower GDP. More testing, big surprise, is associated with higher case counts. Low temperature and low humidity may be associated with less transmission. Particulate matter also is linked to more cases.